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Rallies in D.C. and nationwide protest Zimmerman verdict

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The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of an unarmed teen last year has touched off mostly peaceful demonstrations large and small across the country, with protesters calling the verdict a miscarriage of justice.

Trayvon Martin.

Church services and street protests ranging from a few dozen to hundreds of people on Sunday decried the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin as a tragedy made worse by a flawed verdict.

Unhappy with the not guilty verdict, hundreds took to D.C.'s U Street corridor Saturday night to protest.

Sunday morning, it was still the topic of conversation. But by daylight, people who spoke with ABC7 were a lot more reflective on what happened in the controversial case.

"Was it justice? In my opinion it was not justice, but it may have been correct to the letter of the law," Phil Basso of D.C. said.

"I go to law school, so I support the jury's decision, but I think that in another state it might have been different," Nicholas Thies said.

Many said they had been hoping for a different outcome. And were disappointed, even saddened...

"I felt there should have been some repercussions for taking someone's life...there should be consequences," Joy Fuller of Los Angeles said.

"I think if there had been more concrete evidence...the verdict may have been different...but it let's us know how far our country has to go," said Michael Winfield of D.C.

Thousands are calling for the Justice Department to charge Zimmerman with civil rights violations, but former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey says that could be an uphill battle.

"I don't know where we go from here," Ivey said. "I've got five sons. You would like to make this a teachable moment, but I'm having trouble deciding what to tell them on this. Trayvon Martin was just a young man who wasn't doing anything wrong. Just walking home from the 7-11."

The Justice Department announced Sunday that its investigation will be reopened. It was put on hold to allow the state prosecution to proceed.

In New York City protesters at a massive gathering in Union Square hoisted placards bearing Martin's picture. In the Florida city where the trial took place teens wearing shirts bearing his picture attended a youth service.

Sunday's protests were largely peaceful. But in Oakland, Calif. one demonstration ended in vandalism in the hours after Saturday's verdict. Another protest in Los Angeles was broken up by police firing beanbag rounds.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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